Church in wilderness

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Under severe persecution, it was necessary for the church to go underground. God promised the church would remain forever. While the church did not cease, it did go into the wilderness.

Under severe persecution, it was necessary for the church to go underground. God promised the church would remain forever. While the church did not cease, it did go into the wilderness.

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  • 1. Church in the Wilderness Revelation 12:5-6
  • 2. Sinking feeling? Hopeless? Have you had those kinds of feelings about the future of the church? Ray Summers wrote - “Many times it appears that the enemy has the upper hand and will win, but all the time we know that the victory is ours because we have seen the headline announcing the victory. John used this method many times in Revelation – always very effectively.”
  • 3. Revelation 12:1 Now a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a garland of twelve stars. ● A Radiant Woman ● Clothed with the sun ● Has 12 stars on her head ● This woman is the church ● Church is the bride of Christ – Romans 7:4 ● See also Revelation 21:9 ● This is not Mary bringing Jesus into the world ● The church is the woman preaching Christ
  • 4. Revelation 12:2 Then being with child, she cried out in labor and in pain to give birth. ● She, the church, brought Christ to the world ● Satan will do what he can to prevent Christ from being preached to the world ● Preaching Christ can be painful – imprisonment, suffering, even death ● The gospel is spread today – not in comfort, but in pain and anguish.
  • 5. Revelation 12:3 And another sign appeared in heaven: behold, a great, fiery red dragon having seven heads and ten horns, and seven diadems on his heads. ● The dragon is the devil – So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. (Revelation 12:9) ● There is no dispute here.
  • 6. Revelation 12:4 His tail drew a third of the stars of heaven and threw them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman who was ready to give birth, to devour her Child as soon as it was born. ● This dragon tried to prevent the arrival of Christ ● As soon as the church preaches Christ, Satan is ready to attack
  • 7. Revelation 12:5 She bore a male Child who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron. And her Child was caught up to God and His throne. ● Satan knew Christ was coming ● He tried to prevent His coming to earth ● Athaliah killed all the bloodline – except a 6 month old baby – Joash (2 Kings 11-13) ● Haman had a plot to kill all Jews (Esther) ● Herod killed male babies in Bethlehem (Matthew 2)
  • 8. Revelation 12:5 The Jews plotted to kill Jesus and keep Him in the tomb ● ALL attempts failed ● Christ was raised from the dead and ascended to heaven ● But Christ was being preached by the church ● Satan turns his attention to the woman (church) that was preaching Christ. ● Attacking the church is a way to get back at Christ
  • 9. Revelation 12:6 Then the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God, that they should feed her there one thousand two hundred and sixty days. ● To survive, the church must flee into the wilderness (go into hiding) ● God always protected His family ● Israel – in Egypt, wilderness, promised land ● When threatened by Haman or Athaliah ● When threatened by Saul of Tarsus ● When under attack today
  • 10. What about today? The church will suffer persecution 2 Timothy 3:12 Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. We will come out of the persecution, hardship, tribulation and suffering We may have to go through the wilderness The church is in this world – but not of this world
  • 11. Conclusion Man reading Revelation on his lunch break. Was asked, “Do you understand all about that book?” He answered, “I know that the good guys win!”